This is a “bufärdsmarsch”, a song used to “buffra”, trekking in the spring with the cattle from the valleys up to the mountains and the summer pastures around the “fäbod”.
One of my earliest memories is a sunny spring-morning when somebody called from the kitchen: "Dansar Edvard is coming!” The intensity of the call made me leave everything and run down to the kitchen and poke my nose on to the cold window facing the ancient village road. There a sight I will never forget; Dansar Edvard with his cows and goats on the way to Arvsela, his “fäbod” up in the Dalarna mountains.
Yes, cows can fly and sheep sing and goats play the fiddle! That’s how I remember the unimaginable parade. But most of all I remember Dansar (“Dancing”) Edvard ; a small, energetic figure hopping higher than the calves and singing louder than all the mooing and chirping put together.
And all of a sudden it was over, but still not, like a dream you can carry with you for days, yes maybe your whole life, yet lasting only a moment in your sleep.
I also remember that cold windowpane against the tip of my nose. The memory of wanting to be on the other side, wanting to join Edvard and dance away with the calves in this crazy parade of life – no matter where it would take me.
I think that cold nose-tip has surfaced many times since. And maybe it is because of that disappointing feeling of not being part that time, that I have followed the muse of music, dance and song many times when it has called me out of the warm kitchen and beckoned me to follow down roads I never otherwise would have dared to tread.
Dansar Edward was for me a myth already as a three-year old. Growing up he became more of an original but still ordinary old man living down the road. One of many characters of the village. When I in my late teens started to realize what kind of neighbours I had grown up with and my interest in folkmusic surfaced I went to Edvard’s grandchild and my school-mate and asked if I could come and visit. Sure, fine, when? Well, how bout after returning from my trip? When I returned Edvard was dead and buried. That cold nose-tip feeling again…
Now Edvard has released his first solo CD more than 30 years after his death. He has been declared a cultural icon in folkmusic-circles and become a myth again.
Thank you for the music Edvard, and more so for teaching me to follow it no matter what!
If Edvard sang this “bufärdsmarsch” I am not so sure of, this one was Päbel Britta’s.
In my childhood music world this ditty must have ranked as absolutely rock bottom. It was the kind of song that came up when you wanted something really silly. The lyrics didn’t help either: “Ô ve ska ful ut ô stsäl rovär, rovär ô röttär, ôröttär ô kål.” - "Let’s go out and steal cabbages and turnips."
The new lyrics “Lift up the earth towards the light" is, I guess, also an homage to the old characters of Grimsåker, an attempt to try to lift up the ordinary, yet so extraordinary, characters and songs of my childhood.
But yes, it is still such a silly old song. And I love it for being just that.
Just like I do with Edvard.
Here comes an attempt of an English translation of the lyrics. The Swedish lyrics include as usual puns and wordplays so translating it into English felt first like crashlanding straight down to earth and its cabbages again, from whence it first came… But here we go with a "Light" English version:
Tips for rehearsal and performance:
The song is made for and by movement and needs it to perform well. Works fine as a procession in the beginning or end of any concert. If you do "Kvintessens!" and want to start with a procession, start with this song!
If you have a good fiddler to lead let her also set the rhythmic and melodic style for the singers to imitate.
The tempo in the recording is a bit fast for a usual performance, rather try it "Andante" - at a walking pace.